POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 18, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 01:34 a.m. HST, Dec 18, 2013
One of the first things the pilot in a fatal crash off Molokai did after being released from the hospital was climb into the cockpit of an airplane.
"I guess it's part of the healing process," Clyde Kawasaki said Tuesday in a phone interview from his Kapolei home, describing how he sat at the controls of a Cessna Grand Caravan that's identical to the one that crashed.
"I got back into the airplane but did not go for a flight." he said.
State Health Director Loretta Fuddy, 65, was onboard and died in last week's crash.
Seven other passengers survived without any major injuries when Kawasaki glided the plane to a water landing.
Flying again will require waiting for medical clearances, but Kawasaki said he is eager to get back into the sky.
"It's a very comfortable environment for me," he said. "Eventually I will."
Kawasaki, 60, hit his head on the control panel during the landing after the Makani Kai Air flight took off from Kalaupapa and quickly lost power.
He declined to discuss the crash.
An autopsy was conducted Friday on Fuddy, but results were not yet available, Maui County spokes-man Rod Antone said.
Fuddy's body was flown to Honolulu on Monday. Her funeral is scheduled for Saturday.
The National Transportation Safety Board hopes to pull the plane out of the water after initially thinking it wouldn't be recoverable.
If the plane is recovered, Makani Kai staff will remove the engine under the supervision of NTSB officials, Makani Kai Air owner Richard Shuman said.
It will be placed in a box and sealed, with the NTSB likely taking it back to the factory of engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, where engineers will take it apart to find out what happened, he said.